forgiving.

on the way to you
was writing verses about you
done with writing realized
was headed in the wrong direction
……Vera Pavlova  (Translated by Derek Walcott)

So instead of inserting your name against the one inch line where words go, I added mine. I have spent these months learning my way out of your presence, but it is my own that has left me this alone.

Last night, I sat beside another and we spoke about forgiveness. When your syllable came up, I could feel the noise of your teeth and spine. This used to make me curdle, but I am learning that to move on, one must move through.

There are humans out there walking out of marriages. Leaving children behind or stains of sterling silver on fingers. A poet recently asked me if I ever wanted to get married again. Again. As though I have already. And now I realize that I have. If marriage is a union, I have engaged in such. And if the opposite is separation, I have felt that as well. So would I do this again? Yes. And no. I am housed inside that no, until I forgive. All this time, I thought it was you, but it’s been me all along.

I need to forgive me.

Years ago, I traveled to the Netherlands, hunting. With weaponry of tiny red notebook (given to me by a handsome dreamer) and black ink pen, I spent every day searching for something in me to care about. I wrote poems with strangers, smoked pot with a beautiful German who gave me strict directions that life is about getting lost. Maps are meant to be written on, not listened to. He told me lost is where one is found. So each day, I hopped buses and walked new streets, misplacing direction. I gathered stories by people in need of sharing them. I ate an expensive meal with a stranger who wanted to know all about poetry and life in New York. I sang a memorial of candlelight and tears in a church. I was desperately trying to forgive all of my selves.

None of this is easy and when love leads us on, it is distracting. And terrifyingly beautiful.

I forgive you.

All this music I distract myself with and the food I fondle with my teeth and tongue and the poems and long walks in cracked air and the conversations with strangers and the ways in which I grow addicted to chaos and grey……..leads me here.

Just a few days ago, I articulated [one of] my trauma[s] into a box and sent it toward the west. I am writing my way out of these bones. Metamorphosing into something I can connect to and trust. All those years I called myself an atheist because I could not believe in myself (so how could I possibly believe in an other).

I’ve inserted my name into this meditation. Repetition will lead me forward…closer to who or what I want to believe in. A different kind of union between self and love.

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